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    Patagonia Skiing Ambassador Backstrom Takes Canadian Freeskiing Championship

    Backstrom winWe're indeed reveling in the stoke produced by this week's news from Canada: Patagonia Skiing Ambassador Arne Backstrom did his home resort proud with a strong one-two win at the Freeskiing World Tour, in Revelstoke, British Columbia on Sunday, January 10, taking both the men's overall title for event, and the Sickbird Award. News and videos have trickled in, and we're happy to share some of the words and footage, courtesy of folks at,, and


    From the Freeskiing World Tour (FWT) website:

    Revelstoke, British Colombia—January 12, 2010. Following the qualifier round on Thursday, World Tour round 1 on Friday, and a weather day on Saturday, athletes on stop #2 of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour were amped to show their prowess on Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s famed Mac Face. The finals venue for the Canadian Freeskiing Championships was a 1,200-vertical-foot alpine face comprised of huge Alaska-style ramps, technical European-style routes, and massive cliff drops slapped to a 35- to 50-degree slope.
    Morning clouds and fog kept visibility low, and pushed the competition back more than an hour, as race managers waited for the opportunity to strike. Eventually, the talented Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing pilot found enough windows to fly each of the 27 finalists to the start of the venue, which many described as a “gnarly knife-edge ridge.”
    [Arne Backstrom shares a few comments with an interviewer shortly after the run that clinched his win of the 2010 Subaru Freeskiing World Tour at Revelstoke. Photo: Tyler Roemer]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Skiing Ambassador Backstrom Takes Canadian Freeskiing Championship" »

    Wild and Scenic Film Festival Opens This Weekend

    WSEFF The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival (WSEFF) was started in the Sierra Nevada foothills by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizen's League. In 1983, a small group of citizens banded together to form SYRCL and fight for the protection against several proposed dams. In 1999, their successful lobbying earned Wild & Scenic status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River. After twenty-six years, 3,500 supporters and 700 active volunteers later, SYRCL is the largest single river organization in the nation. It is not surprising that the film festival is now the largest of its kind in the U.S. Held annually the second week of January, the 3-day event features award-winning films, plus speakers, celebrities, and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement and the actions being taken in our communities. SYRCL is now sharing their success with other environmental groups to host tour venues nationwide. It is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal, to use film to inspire activism. The opening festival held annually each January kicks-off the national tour to 90 communities reaching over 22,000 people. This year's opening festival is this weekend - January 15-17th, 2010 in Nevada City, California.

    Entering its eighth year, the opening festival has become a gathering place for a global community, and this year promises to deepen those connections through its focus on a theme that touches every culture: “Fresh, Local…Wild!” embodies the essence of what food should be and is the heart of WSEFF’s 2010 theme – FOOD! Over 20 films at this year’s opening festival will look closely at our food production system and the future of farming. It's WSEFF's belief that if we address the issues facing our agricultural industry, we will build a more resilient food system, manage our water resources more effectively, cure the root of our health care system and have a dramatic impact on climate change. And so this year's stories celebrate taste and the universal right to quality, healthy, safe and flavorful food.

    Check out WSEFF's complete tour schedule to find a venue near you, and find out how environmental film speaks to the heart and soul (and the stomach!) and how it has the  power to inspire people to make changes in their lives. Check out their promo video for an inside look at a fun WSEFF venue.

    Hit the jump for a preview of some of this year's featured films.

    [The Wild&Scenic Environmental Film Festival promo video may also be viewed here]

    Continue reading "Wild and Scenic Film Festival Opens This Weekend" »

    Paddleboard Demo with World-class Shapers Joe Bark and Brian Syzmanski this Saturday

    Cardiff_Paddleboard_Demo Join the staff from Patagonia Cardiff to demo some paddleboards, meet world-class shapers Joe Bark and Brian Syzmanski (NCP), and learn about this fun and growing sport. Each registered participant will be able to demo boards in the calm waters of Bonita Cove. The event is free.

    Paddleboard Demo
    Saturday, January 23
    7:30 am – 12 pm
    Bonita Cove, Mission Bay, San Diego

    To register, visit our Patagonia Cardiff-by-the-Sea store to reserve a place. Sign-ups are on a first-come first-serve basis.

    For more information and directions to the event, drop by the store, phone us, or follow Patagonia Cardiff on Twitter or Facebook.

    Cardiff_logo Patagonia Cardiff
    2185 San Elijo Ave.
    Store Hours: Mon–Wed, Fri-Sat 10-6,Thu 10-7, Sun 12-5

    Backyard Adventures: Backyard World

    BackyardworldA little over a year ago, we invited readers to submit stories of their own Backyard Adventures and announced a deadline of January 9th, 2009. Here we are in 2010, and still (happily) receiving submissions. The most recent is this beautiful audio slideshow from father and Bend, Oregon resident, Jason Albert, entitled Backyard World. The words that follow speak to the motivations that lead to the creation of Jason's slideshow, which readers can view using the link at the end of his essay. Whether you're a parent, or just someone who believes in the value of "seeing small to make the world big," Jason's slideshow is a gem we're happy to share.

    I am keen on listening to first person accounts of deep commitment and adventure; all transpiring with a close connection to place. I vicariously inhale these adventures, and used to think that they would be nothing without their setting in far-off, exotically-spiced countries. A good friend once had his windowless and dank basement apartment plastered with cutouts from climbing catalogs. We would drool over these images. Regrettably, we could not be bothered with the real Montana wilds a few blocks away. Not, that is, with some godly climber pulling a move with their pinky in a “real” mountain range that I knew had prayer flags fluttering just beyond the camera’s lens. We dreamed and ogled. I could picture myself there too, even if I would need super Wonder Twins’ powers to travel safe and fast in that terrain. The catalog images compounded the effects of the “it must be better beyond my backyard” virus I harbored.

    The virus is now in remission. But for years I, too, “jonesed” for adventure - quelled only...

    Continue reading "Backyard Adventures: Backyard World" »

    Rick Ridgeway Makes the Case for Freedom to Roam at Copenhagen Climate Change Conference

    _MG_6651 By Ethan Stewart

    Before all the memories from Copenhagen fade from our collective consciousness,
    Santa Barbara Independent reporter Ethan Stewart and freelance photographer Kodiak Greenwood remind us of one very positive presentation they witnessed at the conference.

    Last month, the whole world was watching Copenhagen as the United Nation’s held their much hyped Framework Convention on Climate Change. Anticipated by many to be the biggest environmental moment of our lives, the two-week bureaucratic rodeo of world leaders and eco-minded experts concluded just a few days before Christmas without accomplishing much towards its goal of establishing sharp toothed, earth saving carbon emissions policy. However, despite this crucial failure, the COP15 was by no means a lost cause. In fact, even the most cynical observers hanging out in Denmark’s capital city for the groovy green get together had to see hope everywhere they looked. From the passion of 100,000 people strong protests in the streets to the countless mindboggling presentations going down each and every day in the Bella Center about the various ways we can, and are already, trying to heal Mother Earth, the path to a better tomorrow was on full display for all who cared to look and listen.

    [Patagonia's Vice President of Environmental Initiatives, Rick Ridgeway. Photo: Kodiak Greenwood]

    Continue reading "Rick Ridgeway Makes the Case for Freedom to Roam at Copenhagen Climate Change Conference" »

    Hoo-ray for Ouray! Steve House Reports from the Ouray Ice Festival

    Sunny1_2 The Ouray Ice Festival, one of the highlights of the ice climbing season, is in full swing this weekend. It blasted off Thursday night with slide shows from Caroline George and Andres Marin. By all reports Caroline’s show was great and Andres' was hysterically funny. Tonight myself and Majka Burhardt go on at 8:30pm with Majka starting off with clips from her new film Waypoint Nambia. I’ll be presenting my talk I’ve done throughout the tour for my book, Beyond the Mountain and hosting book signings at the local community center from 5:30-7:30 both Friday and Saturday night.

    Today dawned bright and cold with a biting temperature of just +4 in town. (This afternoon it warmed up to a balmy 34.) Once it warmed up I threw a pair of Micro Puff Pants over my jeans and grabbed a DAS Parka and went out to visit several couple climbing clinics that were going on. These clinics pair a top climber with a local guide and cover topics from beginning ice climbing to advanced mixed climbing. It’s a great way to both spend a few hours with some of the stars of climbing as well as get some professional instruction in the intriguing sport of ice climbing. In fact I am teaching two clinics over the weekend: one on moderate mixed climbing and another on advanced ice techniques.

    [An unidentified climber tries his/her hand at mixed climbing in one of the many climbing clinics offered at the Ouray Ice Festival. All photos courtesy of Steve House]

    Continue reading "Hoo-ray for Ouray! Steve House Reports from the Ouray Ice Festival" »

    Beyond and Back: Indian Creek

    by Jeff Johnson


    I’ve dreamt of Indian Creek for years but had never made the voyage. Now I had an excuse. The Patagonia Design Offsite was to be in Utah this month and I wanted to attend. This would be my first trip to Moab and Indian Creek. I picked up my friend Bill Beckwith in San Francisco. The drive to Indian Creek was supposed to be around 15 hours. For us it took 24. We’re idiots, I know. Lots of music, lots of talking, long stretches of silence. We got lost.

    Bill and I often climb like wussies. Instead of going for it, we’ll just yell, “Take!” and hang for a bit before moving on. But this time we made a deal. Every “take” costs you $5. This could get costly therefore forcing us to climb like real men.

    [The Bridger Jacks after the storm. Indian Creek. Photo: Jeff Johnson]

    Continue reading "Beyond and Back: Indian Creek" »

    The Art of the Return - Getting What You Want When You Send Something Back

    Kitty in bag It's been said that the squeakiest wheel gets the most grease. Some take this to mean that the best way to be heard is to complain loudly and often. We hear from a lot of these folks. Their correspondence can sometimes be downright entertaining.

    Yes, we gladly do whatever we can to make things right for angry people. But nasty letters have a way of making both the writer and recipient feel bad.

    This time of year is when we receive the most returns and complaints, so it seems like a good time to . . .

    1) . . . remind you to please fill out your return forms clearly and completely. Don't be in such a hurry that we can't read your writing, or it'll take longer for us to take care of YOU. And,

    2)  . . . offer a hearty THANK YOU to those rare individuals who have figured out creative ways to let us know when we've made them unhappy, and do it in a way that makes us want to spread it around. Here's hoping Lars and his cat bring a smile to your face, too. The text of his letter follows after the jump

    And Lars - there's no Return of the Black Hole on the horizon, but you've made sure we'll remember to contact you first if we bring it back.

    Continue reading "The Art of the Return - Getting What You Want When You Send Something Back" »

    Competitors Working Together Toward A Common Environmental Good

    Bluesign Logo It’s rare when industry competitors get together to collaborate. It’s even more unusual when they get together to discuss ways they can lessen their environmental impact. Yet that’s what happened as a result of our relationship with bluesign® technologies, an independent third party that screens the dyeing and finishing of textiles.

    We recently met with other outdoor companies, including brands like MEC, REI and The North Face, at REI's Seattle offices to find ways to spread the benefits of bluesign membership. We discussed ways to educate other brands, encourage manufacturers and demonstrate how environmental progress can be rewarding and beneficial for all parties involved. Since we were all working toward the same environmental goals in our supply chains, working together was helpful for everyone. “By 5pm my brain was fried, but I was happy that we had accomplished a lot,” said participant Todd Copeland, Patagonia’s Strategic Environmental Materials Developer. “I realized other brands struggle as we do to do the right thing in a competitive industry and an uncertain economy.”

    When Patagonia started our relationship with bluesign technologies, we knew we had found something good to help our understanding of environmental chemistry. I first met its founder, Peter Waeber, in 2000...

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    Backyard Corridors: What has been done in your area to enable wild animals to move around?

    Bucky-fence Employees at our Dillon outlet store gained some “Freedom to Roam” last summer when Patagonia funded an environmental internship for store staff. Outlet employees chose to work with American Wildlands (AWL), a Bozeman-based non-profit that works in Montana to identify and prioritize wildlife corridors. Donning leather boots and gloves, they headed to the Centennial Valley, where, literally, the deer and the antelope play.

    The Centennial stretches over 380,000 acres north and east of the Continental Divide and is a crucial migration corridor for grizzly bear, pronghorn and other migratory land animals, along with hundreds of bird species. Armed with fencing pliers, outlet staff removed miles of barbed wire from the bottoms of livestock fencing. They installed smooth wire as a replacement, or modified the distance between strands to accommodate more frequent and widespread wildlife crossings at identified corridors.

    “Unlike typical field work in my life, this has an immediate positive impact,” said store merchandiser, Bucky Ballou. “What we did in one day impacted migratory animals the next day . . . [It's] instant gratification.”

    [Patagonia Dillon's Bucky Ballou rolling removed barbed wire. Photo: Pam Neumeyer

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